View Full Version : The 'Mousetrap'

05-08-2013, 04:39 AM
For the pat few days I have been working on a small camera in the style of William Fox-Talbots Mousetrap Camera .

I'm starting with the lens and working around it. The lens I'm using is the Russian Jupiter that is well and truly not working.

Working out the focal length, as a 50mm lens there where a couple of problems, short focal length and small image size. So ater a few experiments I found the best results where with just the two front elements..

Just done a dry-run and it's looking fine.


Not as sharp as would have been before it was butchered and there is hot spot. But I reckon if fine.


05-08-2013, 04:42 AM
I'm documenting the production of this camera for a film group I'm part of.


05-09-2013, 09:49 PM
I've looked around but i'm not sure i completely got it yet. Is this in essence a hyperfocal camera?

05-09-2013, 10:32 PM
"hyperfocal camera" haven't a clue:)

Test prints using paper negatives using kitchen paper for blotting the negative isn't very smart.


05-10-2013, 12:08 AM
"hyperfocal camera" focus fixed at hyperfocal distance. What size negs?

05-10-2013, 12:41 AM
Still trying to find out where the focus is.

Image size 55x 105mm

05-10-2013, 02:08 AM
Another test with my 'Mouse-trap' camera.The waterhouse stop is now smaller . I haven't painted the inside yet so there is a couple of reflections of the bright metal.


05-10-2013, 11:14 AM
Is that the final film size? I like that ... looks like a little more than 2:1.

05-10-2013, 11:39 AM
In a hyperfocal camera (or when doing it on a regular camera) you're putting the focus point at a place where for a given aperture everything from x feet/meters to infinity is in acceptable focus.

Either way, this looks like a fun camera to work with. And that film size looks quite interesting.

05-10-2013, 08:22 PM
The design of this camera was based on the camera used by William Fox Talbot the inventor of photography.It was named the Mousetrap by Talbot's wife. Back in 1835 the first image created where paper negatives called 'Calotypes' I did think about using this type of negative, but using a silver nitrate developer put me off. So I will start with paper negativess and later may try ortho film.

05-18-2013, 08:59 AM
Nice camera and a good reason for making it.
The images look like the sort of images that camera should produce.
Looking forward to seeing more.